Transition Milwaukee and the Victory Garden Initiative

Transition Milwaukee and the Victory Garden Initiative
by Steve McAllister
Posted November 27, 2018

local gardens create viable local communitiesThe following story is the seventh installment in a new series we’re calling “10 Stories of Transition in the US.” Throughout 2018, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Transition Movement here in the United States, we will explore 10 diverse and resilient Transition projects from all over the country, in the hope that they will inspire you to take similar actions in your local community.

During the first two world wars, governments in the US, Europe, and Australia promoted the development of “victory gardens” to increase food productivity and free up resources to support their respective war efforts. It is estimated that these victory gardens, planted and cultivated in the yards of ordinary citizens, yielded an amount of fruits and vegetables equal to contemporary commercial farms. Gardeners were also encouraged to keep backyard chickens for eggs and soil fertilization. To return this sense of empowerment, food sovereignty, and resilience to the people, Transition Milwaukee helped to launch and incubate the Victory Garden Initiative, which recently celebrated installing its 4,000th garden. More…

By becoming as self sufficient as possible, we break our dependence on corporations and governments. The most radical thing you can do is to grow your own food.

10 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True

10 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True
by Jake Anderson
Posted November 26, 2018

conspiracy theories that are now conspiracy factsIn recent years, the mere notion of conspiracy theories has increasingly been stigmatized and ridiculed by mainstream news outlets, internet trolls, and “rational” thinkers. Yet, with powerful revelations by Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks, and generations of intrepid journalists, we now know that many outlandish geopolitical and domestic “conspiracy theories” were and are cold-blooded truths of the modern world. Here are 10 that are well-documented and profoundly disturbing: More…

Larry Krasner’s Campaign to End Mass Incarceration

Larry Krasner’s Campaign to End Mass Incarceration
By Jennifer Gonnerman
Posted November 25, 2018

a district attorney with integrityUntil Larry Krasner entered the race for District Attorney of Philadelphia last year, he had never prosecuted a case. He began his career as a public defender, and spent three decades as a defense attorney. In the legal world, there is an image, however cartoonish, of prosecutors as conservative and unsparing, and of defense attorneys as righteous and perpetually outraged.

Krasner, who had a long ponytail until he was forty, seemed to fit the mold. As he and his colleagues engaged in daily combat with the D.A.’s office, they routinely complained about prosecutors who, they believed, withheld evidence that they were legally required to give to the defense; about police who lied under oath on the witness stand; and about the D.A. Lynne Abraham, a Democrat whose successful prosecutions, over nearly twenty years, sent more people to death row than those of any other D.A. in modern Philadelphia history. More…

DARPA Seeks FAA Approval For Military Drones Over American Cities By 2030 – At The Latest

DARPA Seeks FAA Approval For Military Drones Over American Cities By 2030 – At The Latest
By Nicholas West
Posted November 24, 2018

drone surveillance of US no longer a conspiracy theoryJust a little over 10 years after drone surveillance inside U.S. borders was declared a conspiracy theory, it is now an indisputable fact of life. So, too, are military grade drones along the “border,” which in reality constitutes a 100-mile-wide swath that encircles the continental United States and 2/3 of its population.

According to a new report from Defense One, this level of access is still seen as a restriction by the DARPA-directed military apparatus. As new forms of autonomous aircraft take to the skies such as the latest Blackhawk helicopter drones that could be ready by 2019, DARPA and aircraft developers want permission to fly over large cities as needed. Utilizing a new artificial intelligence system that is literally called MATRIX, developers see an opportunity for more flexibility in potential use. Of course, surveillance isn’t mentioned among those uses. More…

America Is On The Brink Of A Nervous Breakdown

America Is On The Brink Of A Nervous Breakdown
by John Whitehead
Posted November 23, 2018

America losing its soulAuthoritarian regimes begin with incremental steps. Overcriminalization, surveillance of innocent citizens, imprisonment for nonviolent—victimless—crimes, etc. Bit by bit, the citizenry finds its freedoms being curtailed and undermined for the sake of national security. And slowly the populace begins to submit.

No one speaks up for those being targeted.
No one resists these minor acts of oppression.
No one recognizes the indoctrination into tyranny for what it is.

Historically this failure to speak truth to power has resulted in whole populations being conditioned to tolerate unspoken cruelty toward their fellow human beings, a bystander syndrome in which people remain silent and disengaged—mere onlookers—in the face of abject horrors and injustice. More…

How the government uses its giant facial recognition database

How the government uses its giant facial recognition database
by Simon Black
Posted November 22, 2018

facial recognition now being used as police state growsCBP (Customs and Border Protection) has now completed a pilot program for using biometric data for boarding flights exiting the country. Biometric data includes unique identity markers like fingerprints, iris scans, and facial recognition. The CBP, TSA, and DHS are building facial recognition databases for everyone– US citizens included.

These pilot programs scoop up whatever official pictures the US government has of you. This includes passport photos, ID photos, and photos taken upon reentering the United States after international travel. Delta Airlines has even started testing a new program that scans your face prior to boarding your flight and matches it against this government database.

JetBlue has a similar program, and claims that “The customers are really delighted by it. . . they think it’s cool and they’re having fun.” I’m not sure who these dairy cows are who think that it’s cool and fun for the government to have a giant database of biometric data. More…

Why American Leaders Persist in Waging Losing Wars

Why American Leaders Persist in Waging Losing Wars
By William J. Astore
Posted November 21, 2018

one price of warAs America enters the 18th year of its war in Afghanistan and its 16th in Iraq, the war on terror continues in Yemen, Syria, and parts of Africa, including Libya, Niger, and Somalia. Meanwhile, the Trump administration threatens yet more war, this time with Iran. (And given these last years, just how do you imagine that’s likely to turn out?) Honestly, isn’t it time Americans gave a little more thought to why their leaders persist in waging losing wars across significant parts of the planet? So consider the rest of this piece my attempt to do just that.

Let’s face it: profits and power should be classified as perennial reasons why U.S. leaders persist in waging such conflicts. War may be a racket, as General Smedley Butler claimed long ago, but who cares these days since business is booming? And let’s add to such profits a few other all-American motivations. Start with the fact that, in some curious sense, war is in the American bloodstream. As former New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges once put it, “War is a force that gives us meaning.” Historically, we Americans are a violent people who have invested much in a self-image of toughness now being displayed across the “global battlespace.” (Hence all the talk in this country not about our soldiers but about our “warriors.”) As the bumper stickers I see regularly where I live say: “God, guns, & guts made America free.” To make the world freer, why not export all three? More…

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